Τετάρτη, 4 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Latest Science News

ScienceDaily: Latest Science News


Increased mucins pinned to worsening cystic fibrosis symptoms

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 05:44 PM PDT

The first quantitative evidence that mucins – the protein framework of mucus – are significantly increased in cystic fibrosis patients, and play a major role in failing lung function, has been presented by researchers. The research shows that a three-fold increase of mucins dramatically increases the water-draining power of the mucus layer. This hinders mucus clearance in the CF lung, resulting in infection, inflammation, and ultimately lung failure.

Modern ocean acidification is outpacing ancient upheaval: Rate may be ten times faster

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 02:03 PM PDT

Scientists estimate that surface ocean acidity increased by about 100 percent during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum in a few thousand years or more, and stayed that way for the next 70,000 years. Scientists have long suspected that ocean acidification caused the crisis -- similar to today, as humanmade CO2 combines with seawater to change its chemistry. Now, for the first time, scientists have quantified the extent of surface acidification from those ancient days, and the news is not good: the oceans are on track to acidify at least as much as they did then, only at a much faster rate.

Decomposing logs show local factors undervalued in climate change predictions

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 01:27 PM PDT

In a long-term analysis conducted across several sites in the eastern United States, a team of researchers found that local factors -- from levels of fungal colonization to the specific physical locations of the wood -- play a far greater role than climate in wood decomposition rates and the subsequent impacts on regional carbon cycling. Because decomposition of organic matter strongly influences the storage of carbon, or its release into the atmosphere, it is a major factor in potential changes to the climate.

First survey of ACOs reveals surprising level of physician leadership

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 01:27 PM PDT

In spite of early concerns that hospitals' economic strengths would lead them to dominate the formation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), a new study reveals the central role of physician leadership in the first wave of ACOs. ACOs are groups of providers that are held responsible for the care of defined populations of patients.The key notion is that the providers within the ACO receive financial rewards for both improving the quality of care and reducing the growth of costs. Over 600 Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are now operating in the U.S.

Nearly one in eight American children are maltreated before age 18

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 01:26 PM PDT

By the time they reach age 18, about 12 percent of American children experience a confirmed case of maltreatment in the form of neglect, physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, according to a new study. "Maltreatment is on the scale of other major public health concerns that affect child health and well-being," one researcher said. "Because child maltreatment is also a risk factor for poor mental and physical health outcomes throughout life, the results of this study provide valuable epidemiologic information."

Study examines political contributions made by physicians

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 01:26 PM PDT

The percentage of physicians making campaign contributions in federal elections increased to 9.4 percent in 2012 from 2.6 percent in 1991, and during that time physician contributors shifted away from Republicans toward Democrats, especially in specialties dominated by women or those that are traditionally lower paying such as pediatrics, according to a new study.

Simple change to Medicare Part D would yield $5 billion in savings

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 01:26 PM PDT

The federal government could save over $5 billion in the first year by changing the way it assigns Part D plans for Medicare beneficiaries eligible for low-income subsidies, according to experts. Medicare Part D provides assistance to beneficiaries below 150 percent of the federal poverty level. In 2013, an estimated 10 million beneficiaries received subsidies, and 75 percent of the total Part D federal spending of $60 billion is for low-income enrollees.

Hispanics cut medication adherence gap after Medicare Part D launch

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 01:26 PM PDT

After the 2006 launch of Medicare's prescription drug benefit, Hispanics reduced the gap for taking prescribed heart medicines by more than 15 percentage points. Hispanics, African-Americans and white Medicare participants all improved medication adherence after Part D, with whites continuing to have the highest adherence rate. African-Americans in Medicare appear to have fallen further behind in medication adherence.

Young women fare worse than young men after heart attack

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 01:26 PM PDT

Women age 55 and younger may fare worse than their male counterparts after having a heart attack. Women's poorer health outcomes may be due to a range of socio-demographic, clinical and biological causes, such as undetected chest pain, problems with access to care and increase in work/life responsibilities impacting their health.

Seniors who exercise regularly experience less physical decline as they age

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 01:00 PM PDT

Older adults in retirement communities who reported more exercise experienced less physical decline than their peers who reported less exercise, although many adults -- even those who exercised -- did not complete muscle-strengthening exercises, which are another defense against physical decline.

Solving the puzzle of ice age climates: Southern Ocean and explanation for 'Last Glacial Maximum'

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 01:00 PM PDT

The paleoclimate record for the last ice age -- a time 21,000 years ago called the "Last Glacial Maximum" (LGM) -- tells of a cold Earth whose northern continents were covered by vast ice sheets. Chemical traces from plankton fossils in deep-sea sediments reveal rearranged ocean water masses, as well as extended sea ice coverage off Antarctica. Air bubbles in ice cores show that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was far below levels seen before the Industrial Revolution.

Security: Computer scientists develop tool to make the Internet of Things safer

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 12:59 PM PDT

Computer scientists have developed a tool that allows hardware designers and system builders to test security -- a first for the field. There is a big push to create the so-called Internet of Things, where all devices are connected and communicate with one another. As a result, embedded systems -- small computer systems built around microcontrollers -- are becoming more common. But they remain vulnerable to security breaches. Some examples of devices that may be hackable: medical devices, cars, cell phones and smart grid technology.

Like some happiness with that? Fast food cues hurt ability to savor experience

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 12:59 PM PDT

Want to be able to smell the roses? You might consider buying into a neighborhood where there are more sit-down restaurants than fast-food outlets, suggests a new article. The article looks at how exposure to fast food can push us to be more impatient and that this can undermine our ability to smell the proverbial roses.

Which look bigger, packages of complicated shape or packages of simple shape?

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 12:59 PM PDT

Which look bigger, packages of complicated shape or packages of simple shape? Some prior research shows that complex packages appear larger than simple packages of equal volume, while other research has shown the opposite -- that simple packages look bigger than the more complex. Researchers believe they have resolved this dilemma.

Microbes engineered for direct conversion of biomass to fuel

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 12:58 PM PDT

The promise of affordable transportation fuels from biomass -- a sustainable, carbon neutral route to American energy independence -- has been left perpetually on hold by the economics of the conversion process. Researchers have overcome this hurdle allowing the direct conversion of switchgrass to fuel. The study, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, documents the direct conversion of biomass to biofuel without pre-treatment, using the engineered bacterium Caldicellulosiruptor bescii.

Hurricanes with female names more deadly than male-named storms

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 12:58 PM PDT

In the coming Atlantic hurricane season, watch out for hurricanes with benign-sounding names like Dolly, Fay or Hanna. According to a new article, hurricanes with feminine names are likely to cause significantly more deaths than hurricanes with masculine names, apparently because storms with feminine names are perceived as less threatening.

Electrical response of metals to extreme pressures predicted

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 12:57 PM PDT

New research makes it possible to predict how subjecting metals to severe pressure can lower their electrical resistance, a finding that could have applications in computer chips and other materials that could benefit from specific electrical resistance.

Marijuana shows potential in treating autoimmune disease

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 12:09 PM PDT

Researchers have discovered a novel pathway through which marijuana's main active constituent, THC, can suppress the body's immune functions. The recent findings show that THC can change critical molecules of epigenome called histones, leading to suppression of inflammation.

Anti-diabetic drug slows ageing and lengthens lifespan, animal study suggests

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 12:07 PM PDT

Researchers have provided new evidence that metformin, the world's most widely used anti-diabetic drug, slows aging and increases lifespan. Scientists teased out the mechanism behind metformin's age-slowing effects: the drug causes an increase in the number of toxic oxygen molecules released in the cell and this, surprisingly, increases cell robustness and longevity in the long term.

Humans' tiny cellular machines: Spliceosomes in detail

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 12:07 PM PDT

Like exploring the inner workings of a clock, researchers are digging into the inner workings of the tiny cellular machines called spliceosomes, which help make all of the proteins our bodies need to function. They have now captured images of this machine, revealing details never seen before.

Gene therapy combined with IMRT reduces rate of positive prostate biopsy after treatment for intermediate-risk prostate cancer patients

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 12:07 PM PDT

Combining oncolytic adenovirus-mediated cytotoxic gene therapy (OAMCGT) with intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) reduces the risk of having a positive prostate biopsy two years after treatment in intermediate-risk prostate cancer without affecting patients' quality of life, research has determined.

Is the food industry really concerned with obesity? If people eat less, profits will decline

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 12:07 PM PDT

Efforts to combat obesity can be a threat to businesses that produce and sell food: If people eat less, profits will decline. But the food industry can't appear to be nonresponsive to what some have called a public health crisis, and it employs several tactics to maintain legitimacy and position itself as "part of the solution" while also protecting profits, shows a new study. Food companies frame obesity as an issue of the choices people are making rather than the choices they are being offered.

One in four children with leukemia not taking maintenance medication, study shows

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 11:17 AM PDT

An estimated 25 percent of children in remission from acute lymphocytic leukemia are missing too many doses of an essential maintenance medication that minimizes their risk of relapse, according to a study. Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), a cancer of the white blood cells, is the most common form of childhood cancer. While more than 95 percent of children with ALL enter remission within a month of receiving initial cancer therapy, one in five will relapse. In order to remain cancer-free, children in remission must take a form of oral chemotherapy every day for two years.

Physicists take quantum leap toward ultra-precise measurement

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 11:17 AM PDT

Physicists have overcome a major challenge in the science of measurement using quantum mechanics. The scientists developed a way to employ multiple detectors in order to measure photons in entangled states, with an experimental apparatus that uses a fiber ribbon to collect photons and send them to an array of 11 detectors. Their work paves the way for great advances in using quantum states to develop ultra-precise measurement technologies.

Worry, behavior among teens at higher risk for breast cancer: Focus of new study

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 11:16 AM PDT

Teenage girls with a familial or genetic risk for breast cancer worry more about getting the disease, even when their mother has no history, compared to girls their age with no known high risks, according to new data. Early analyses suggest that such worry may increase risk behavior, such as smoking and potentially alcohol use, but does not appear to influence positive behavior, such as exercise.

Sperm-inspired robots controlled by magnetic fields may be useful for drug delivery, IVF, cell sorting and other applications

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 11:16 AM PDT

A team of researchers has developed sperm-inspired microrobots, which consist of a head coated in a thick cobalt-nickel layer and an uncoated tail. When the robot is subjected to an oscillating field of less than five millitesla, it experiences a magnetic torque on its head, which causes its flagellum to oscillate and propel it forward. The researchers are then able to steer the robot by directing the magnetic field lines towards a reference point.

No harm in yoga: But not much help for asthma sufferers, study finds

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 10:22 AM PDT

A recent report examined 14 studies to determine the effectiveness of yoga in the treatment of asthma and found there isn't enough evidence to support yoga as a routine intervention to alleviate symptoms. "Many people practice yoga for its health benefits, including asthma sufferers," said the lead author of the study. "We reviewed the available data to see if it made a difference and found only weak evidence that it does. Yoga can't be considered a routine intervention for patients with asthma at this time."

Long-term results encouraging for combination immunotherapy for advanced melanoma

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 10:22 AM PDT

The first long-term follow-up results from a phase 1b immunotherapy trial combining drugs for advanced melanoma patients has shown encouraging results -- long-lasting with high survival rates -- researchers report. The trial evaluated the safety and activity of the combination regimen of nivolumab (anti-PD-1), an investigational PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, and ipilimumab (anti-CTLA-4; Yervoy), given either concurrently or sequentially, to patients with advanced melanoma whose disease progressed after prior treatment.

New pneumatic launchers for analyzing resistance to impacts, improving armor plating

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 10:22 AM PDT

New pneumatic launchers make it possible to carry out a wide range of studies on problems of impact that arise in the aeronautics industry and on optimum armor plating in other sectors. "Our goal is to design armor plating whose protective behavior is optimum," explains the head of the laboratory. "If an element is well designed, a collision should not produce any catastrophic damage, but if not, the impact of a piece could go through it like a knife through butter," he comments.

Nano world: Where towers construct themselves

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 10:22 AM PDT

A tower which builds itself is absurd -- and however, in the nano world self-assembly is reality. Physicists have investigated how to control the ordering of such self-assembling structures at the nano-scale. Physicists investigated how they can control the ordering of such self-assembling structures and found out how to switch the assembly process on and off.

Fishing vessels have big ecological footprint: Powerful seabird magnets

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 10:22 AM PDT

Fishing vessels have a far bigger ecological footprint than previously thought, according to research which tracked the movement and behavior of seabirds using GPS devices. Scientists discovered that northern gannets change their behaviour in response to the presence of large vessels such as trawlers, suggesting each boat can significantly influence the distribution and foraging patterns of these and other marine predators.

Success for scientists in the academic job market is highly predictable

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 10:22 AM PDT

The number of scientists in training vastly exceeds the number that will successfully land a faculty position at an academic institution. Now, researchers report that an individual scientist's chances are very predictable based solely on his or her publication record.

Using computers to influence the law

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 10:21 AM PDT

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures and, ever since the Supreme Court's 1967 decision in Katz v. United States, the right to be free of unwanted government scrutiny has been tied to the concept of reasonable expectations of privacy. Researchers have examined how advances in machine learning technology may change the way courts treat searches, warrants, and privacy issues.

Scientists probe solar wind with blue waters supercomputer

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 10:21 AM PDT

Talk about a mathematics hot rod -- how does 13 quadrillion calculations per second grab you? A scalable computer code was used to run complex equations on a blisteringly fast supercomputer, resulting in advances in understanding solar wind and the heliosphere.

Transforming undergraduate biology education

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 10:21 AM PDT

Researchers have collected feedback from more than 240 biologists in the U.S. and developed a new, detailed core concept template called BioCore Guide. The guide is intended to provide an updated blueprint for educators to help them clarify the learning outcomes for undergraduate students majoring in general biology.

Austin's the only fast-growing U.S. city losing African-Americans

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 10:21 AM PDT

A policy report shows that among the 10 fastest-growing major cities in the United States, Austin stood out in one crucial respect: it was the only such city that suffered a net loss in its African-American population.

MRI-guided laser procedure provides alternative to epilepsy surgery

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 10:21 AM PDT

For patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) that can't be controlled by medications, a minimally invasive laser procedure performed under MRI guidance provides a safe and effective alternative to surgery, suggests a study. The researchers report their experience with MRI-guided SLAH in 13 adult patients with epilepsy mapped to a part of the brain called the mesial temporal lobe. The patients, median age 24 years, had "intractable" seizures despite treatment with antiepileptic drugs.

Surgeons report fewer postoperative blood clots using risk-based preventive measures

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 08:58 AM PDT

Surgery patients are much less likely to get a blood clot in the lower extremities or lungs if they receive preventive treatment based on their individual clotting risk, in addition to walking soon after the operation. Researchers reported that they lowered the frequency of deep venous thromboses -- blood clots in a deep vein, usually in a lower extremity -- by 84 percent two years after the prevention efforts began, compared with the results two years before the program. The occurrence of pulmonary emboli, or blood clots that travel to the lungs, fell by 55 percent in the same period.

CPAP rapidly improves blood pressure, arterial tone in adults with sleep apnea

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 08:58 AM PDT

Continuous positive airway pressure therapy rapidly improves blood pressure and arterial tone in adults with obstructive sleep apnea, research confirms. Results show that there was a significant reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressures among sleep apnea patients who were compliant with CPAP therapy for three months. Successful treatment of sleep apnea also was associated with decreased vascular tone and arterial stiffness.

Transforming hydrogen into safer liquid fuel using atmospheric carbon dioxide

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 08:58 AM PDT

Scientists have completed their solution for transforming hydrogen gas into a less flammable liquid fuel that can be safely stored and transported. Another possible application of their technology would be to use atmospheric carbon dioxide to synthesize a number of useful chemical products.

Astronomers find a new type of planet: The 'mega-Earth'

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 08:58 AM PDT

Astronomers have discovered a new type of planet -- a rocky world weighing 17 times as much as Earth. Theorists believed such a world couldn't form because anything so hefty would grab hydrogen gas as it grew and become a Jupiter-like gas giant. This planet, though, is all solids and much bigger than previously discovered 'super-Earths,' making it a 'mega-Earth.'

Because you can't eat just one: Star will swallow two planets

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 08:58 AM PDT

Two worlds orbiting a distant star are about to become a snack of cosmic proportions. Astronomers announced that the planets Kepler-56b and Kepler-56c will be swallowed by their star in a short time by astronomical standards. Their ends will come in 130 million and 155 million years, respectively.

'Neapolitan' exoplanets come in three flavors

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 08:58 AM PDT

The planets of our solar system come in two basic flavors, like vanilla and chocolate ice cream. We have small, rocky terrestrials like Earth and Mars, and large gas giants like Neptune and Jupiter. We're missing the astronomical equivalent of strawberry ice cream -- planets between about one and four times the size of Earth.

Harsh space weather may doom potential life on red-dwarf planets

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 08:58 AM PDT

Life in the universe might be even rarer than we thought. Recently, astronomers looking for potentially habitable worlds have targeted red dwarf stars because they are the most common type of star, composing 80 percent of the stars in the universe. But a new study shows that harsh space weather might strip the atmosphere of any rocky planet orbiting in a red dwarf's habitable zone.

Researchers propose tactics for ethical use of Twitter data

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 08:56 AM PDT

Tweets are only 140 characters, but amass enough of them, and researchers can deduce a great deal about subjects ranging from disease outbreaks to social unrest. Researchers have proposed guidelines to make sure data mined from Twitter data is obtained and used ethically.

Increasing legal certainty through cross-national validity within global software market

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 08:56 AM PDT

The Internet has revolutionized the software industry. A single software market is emerging, independent of national borders, where products and services are digitally distributed. But the legal framework for software transfers is not geographically independent; relevant underlying law varies substantially between different legal systems. New research demonstrates the legal difficulties with this emerging market, but also proposes solutions to such problems.

Creating tabletop light sources in the lab: Physicist builds useful light source from harmonic generation

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 08:56 AM PDT

Scientists are developing a way to greatly enhance the generation of high-order harmonics to create powerful small tabletop light sources that are important to science and technology. The researchers are building theoretical framework and providing experimental guidance in the area of strong-field physics.

How the 'long shadow' of an inner city childhood affects adult success

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 08:55 AM PDT

Nearly 800 Baltimore school children were followed in a ground-breaking study for a quarter of a century. The conclusion: their fates were substantially determined by the economic status of the family they were born into. Through repeated interviews with the children and their parents and teachers, the research team observed the group as its members made their way through elementary, middle and high school, joined the work force and started families.

Harnessing power of immune system for therapies against cancer

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:49 AM PDT

Innovative immunotherapies treatments for advanced or high-risk melanoma and cervical cancer -- used alone or in combination -- fight cancer by activating and amplifying the body's immune response to the disease. New studies find high activity with investigative drugs for advanced melanoma, and show for the first time that ipilimumab, a treatment already approved for advanced melanoma, can substantially decrease the risk of melanoma recurrence in certain patients with earlier-stage disease.

Prenatal maternal stress predicts asthma and autism traits in 6 1/2-year-old children

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:48 AM PDT

A new study finds a link between prenatal maternal stress and the development of symptoms of asthma and autism in children. Scientists have been studying women who were pregnant during the January 1998 Quebec ice storm since June of that year and observing effects of their stress on their children's development (Project Ice Storm). The team examined the degree to which the mothers' objective degree of hardship from the storm and their subjective degree of distress explained differences among the women's children in asthma-like symptoms and in autism-like traits.

Blunting rice disease: Natural microbe inhibits rice blast fungus

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:48 AM PDT

A fungus that kills an estimated 30 percent of the world's rice crop may finally have met its match, thanks to a research discovery made by scientists. A naturally occurring microbe in soil that inhibits the rice blast fungus has been identified by a team of researchers. "Rice blast is a relentless killer, a force to be reckoned with, especially as rice is a staple in the daily diet of more than half the world's population -- that's over 3 billion people," says the study's leader.

Doing more with less: in cellulo structure determinations

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:47 AM PDT

Anyone involved in macromolecular crystallography will know that for many years scientists have had to rely on a multi-stage process utilizing protein, usually expressed in engineered cells, which is then extracted and purified before crystallization in vitro and finally prepared for analysis. As a counter to this time-consuming and substantial scientific effort, there are a number of examples of protein crystallization events occurring in vivo, with next to no human input. In a case presented in a recent paper, an insect virus exploits the phenomenon as part of its life cycle.

Even at infancy, humans can visually identify objects that stand out

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:47 AM PDT

Even by three months of age, babies are visually able to locate objects that stand out from a group, a study has found. "For example, an infant can pick a red umbrella in a sea of grey ones," says the leader of the research. "This indicates that babies at a very young age are able to selectively extract information from the environment, just like adults."

'Healthy' component of red wine, resveratrol, causes pancreatic abnormalities in fetuses

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:47 AM PDT

Here's more evidence that pregnant women should be careful about what they eat and drink: A new research report shows that when taken during pregnancy, resveratrol supplements led to developmental abnormalities in the fetal pancreas. This study has direct relevance to human health--Resveratrol is widely used for its recognized health benefits, and is readily available over the counter.

Why inflammation leads to a leaky blood-brain barrier: MicroRNA-155

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:47 AM PDT

Until now, scientists have not known exactly how inflammation weakens the blood-brain barrier, allowing toxins and other molecules access to the brain. A new research report solves this mystery by showing that a molecule, called 'microRNA-155,' is responsible for cleaving epithelial cells to create microscopic gaps that let material through.

Common, hard-to-treat cancers: Potential new targeted therapies

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:20 AM PDT

Positive results from four clinical trials of investigational targeted drugs for advanced ovarian, lung, and thyroid cancers, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia were highlighted recently by researchers. Findings from the mid- and late-stage trials suggest new ways to slow disease progression and improve survival for patients who experience relapses or resistance to available treatments.

New strategies to improve quality of life for cancer patients, caregivers

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:20 AM PDT

New strategies for easing the short- and long-term effects of cancer therapy and improving the quality of life of patients with cancer, as well as their caregivers have been released by researchers. "We've made incredible strides in cancer treatment, and more cancer survivors are alive today than ever before. But oncology isn't just about helping people live longer -- we need to ensure that patients have the best quality of life possible at every stage of their cancer journey," said one expert.

Marijuana use associated with impaired sleep quality

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:20 AM PDT

Marijuana use is associated with impaired sleep quality, research suggests. Results show that any history of cannabis use was associated with an increased likelihood of reporting difficulty falling asleep, struggling to maintain sleep, experiencing non-restorative sleep, and feeling daytime sleepiness. The strongest association was found in adults who started marijuana use before age 15; they were about twice as likely to have severe problems falling asleep, experiencing non-restorative sleep and feeling overly sleepy during the day.

Poor sleep equal to binge drinking, marijuana use in predicting academic problems

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:20 AM PDT

College students who are poor sleepers are much more likely to earn worse grades and withdraw from a course than healthy sleeping peers, new research shows. Results show that sleep timing and maintenance problems in college students are a strong predictor of academic problems. The study also found that sleep problems have about the same impact on grade point average (GPA) as binge drinking and marijuana use.

Half of pregnant women who have hypertension and snore unknowingly have a sleep disorder

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:20 AM PDT

A substantial proportion of hypertensive pregnant women have obstructive sleep apnea, and many may not be aware. We know that habitual snoring is linked with poor pregnancy outcomes for both mother and child, including increased risk of C-sections and smaller babies," says the lead author. "Our findings show that a substantial proportion of hypertensive pregnant women have obstructive sleep apnea and that habitual snoring may be one of the most telling signs to identify this risk early in order to improve health outcomes."

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